Arbitration - Unconscionability - Cemetery Internment Contract: SCI Alabama Funeral Services, LLC v. Hinton


SCI Alabama Funeral Services, LLC v. Hinton, [Ms. 1161107, Mar. 30, 2018] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. 2018). The Court (Stuart, C.J., and Bryan, Bolin, Parker, Shaw, Wise, Sellers, and Mendheim, JJ., concur; Main, J., concurs in the result) reverses an order of the Jefferson Circuit Court denying a motion to compel arbitration in a dispute arising from a cemetery’s internment contract on the basis of unconscionability. The Supreme Court concludes, citing American General Finance, Inc. v. Branch, 793 So. 2d 738 (Ala. 2000), Layne v. Garner, 612 So. 2d 404 (Ala. 1992), Steele v. Walser, 880 So. 2d 1123 (Ala. 2002), and Leeman v. Cooks Pest Control, Inc., 902 So. 2d 641 (Ala. 2004), that an arbitration provision may not be found unconscionable merely because it is overbroad. As overbreadth was the only basis for the circuit court’s order denying the motion to compel arbitration, it was due to be reversed and the case remanded for the circuit court to enter an order granting the motion to compel arbitration.

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